I spent the weekend at the Ad Astra writing convention. It was amazing. Some of the highlights for me were seeing Anne Groell on the when is an editor not an editor panel, meeting the Genrecon ‘family’, and dinner at Chako’s.
My husband is a huge gamer, he works on third party material for the Pathfinder Role playing game. So naturally at these conventions he spends a lot of time in the games room. He is also incredibly good at meeting new people (much better than me), we met Cameron, who introduced us to his friend Thomas Gofton designer of Legacy of Mana (a pathfinder campaign setting) and currently developing Albion’s Legacy an amazing cooperative board game kick starting in just a few weeks! He is also an active member of Genre con, an event held in Guelph Ontario in October.
Cameron and Tom whisked us away to a party in a hotel room and the craziness began! In one corner you had a Scotch and chocolate pairing going on, I learned all about how the different regions of Scotland produce unique layers of peat that give each type of Scotch its unique taste, and that Scotch can’t be scotch unless the grains were dried over a peat fire. Who knew it mattered so much? In another corner someone was demonstrating several of the rope ties involved in Japanese bondage, a rowdy discussion of D&D4.0 vs. Pathfinder took place, and a hilarious game of Cards against Humanity rounded out the night. It was well after 3am when my husband and I made it back to our hotel room, and we were the first to leave!
Now, I should have been completely exhausted, we were on to day three of the con by this point and had been going full tilt all weekend, but the energy of the crowd was amazing. Everyone was upbeat and raring to go again. One of the game room guys told me ‘geeks throw the best parties,’ and I am liable to agree. I saw several more panels that were as amazing as the ones on Friday and Saturday. Learned a bit about ‘Cherokee wrestling’ (thanks Cameron :P) before joining our new friends for a meal at Chako’s Korean BBQ.
I died and went to heaven.
So much meat. They bring you a pile of raw ingredients, all spiced and marinated in their special sauces, and you cook it over a little grill set into your table top. They also provide sushi. We had fish, shellfish, pork, chicken, beef, vegetables, fruits, all grilled at our table and happily consumed. Just as Cameron, Tom, my husband, and I finish a massive meal more of our friends arrived. So of course we had them join us and went for round two. Lots of other con members had the same idea as us, and the restaurant filled up with fellow writers and gamers. We ate for close to three hours. It was spectacular.
We got home way later than we meant to, (Thanks Nate for the late night pick up at a carpooling lot!) but it was well worth it. Ad Astra was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.